A winter classic, our homey and hearty recipe for chicken noodle soup will be your new go-to.
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Chicken noodle soup is comfort in a bowl. Whether or not you believe it has medicinal powers, it’s often the soup of choice for colds or whenever you’re feeling run down and need something soothing and nourishing. Many global cuisines have their own version of chicken noodle soup, but this is a good basic chicken noodle soup recipe and you can easily add different ingredients to the broth to make it your way.
For a homemade chicken noodle soup that’s super satisfying, try to plan ahead and make it from scratch. This means making a homemade chicken stock, which is easy to do – roast a chicken, remove and shred the meat to add to the soup later, then simmer the bones with vegetables and herbs to create an aromatic broth for the base. Alternatively, roast the chicken pieces or use the bones leftover from a roast chicken dinner. Roast chicken bones enhance the flavour of the stock more than raw bones or boneless chicken pieces. See below for directions. If you don’t have time, skip this part and just buy 3 litres of liquid stock instead.
Whether or not you make the stock, you’ll need to add brown onions, carrots and celery to your shopping list along with fresh thyme. Homemade stock also calls for some flat-leaf parsley, including the stems, plus dried bay leaves and black peppercorns from the herb and spice aisle. For the soup, you’ll also need garlic and, of course, the cooked chicken and noodles, such as pappardelle.
You’ll need a roasting pan and oven if you’re roasting the chicken for the chicken stock and meat. For making stock and soup, the best equipment is a stockpot or large deep saucepan that has plenty of room to hold all of the ingredients. Other things you need for the stock are a fine sieve to strain the soup, a large heatproof bowl or jug and a metal spoon for skimming the fat from the surface. If you only have a colander rather than a sieve, line it with a clean Chux cloth or muslin cloth to help remove any solids and impurities from the stock.
The good news is, once you have your stock and chicken ready to go, this chicken noodle soup recipe is cooked all in one pot, noodles and all.
Homemade chicken stock is like liquid gold – it adds depth of flavour to so many dishes and it’s the ideal base for this chicken noodle soup because you get all that extra goodness from the veggies and chicken bones. You can’t rush the stock – it takes long slow simmering to maximise the flavour. It’s best to start this the day before you want to use it so you can chill it overnight. This lets the fat rise to the surface and solidify so it’s easy to remove for a clearer stock. Spray a 1.8kg Coles RSPCA Approved Australian Whole Chicken with oil and roast in a roasting pan at 180°C for 1½ hours. You’ll know it’s cooked if the juices run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced with a skewer. Cover the chicken with foil and set aside to cool. Pull the meat from the bones and store it in an airtight container in the fridge to add to the finished soup, discarding the skin so you don’t add excess fat to the stock. Put the chicken bones in a stockpot or large deep saucepan with 3 chopped carrots, 2 chopped brown onions, 3 chopped celery sticks, 4 thyme sprigs, ½ bunch chopped parsley, 5 black peppercorns and 2 dried bay leaves. Cover with water – not too much to avoid overdiluting the stock – and bring to the boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and partially cover the pot to let steam escape. You don’t want to keep boiling the stock as this can make the liquid cloudy. After 1½ hours, the stock should be a golden amber colour. Turn off the heat and cool the mixture slightly, then strain the broth through a fine sieve into a large heatproof bowl, discarding the solids. Cool completely, then cover and chill overnight. The next day, use a metal spoon to carefully remove and discard any fat from the surface of the stock, and you’ll have a rich, clear stock ready to go.
With the stock and chicken taken care of, you only need 30 minutes prep and cooking time to get your chicken noodle soup on the table. Here’s what to do. Heat 1 tbs olive oil in a large saucepan over low heat. Add 1 chopped brown onion, 2 chopped carrots, celery, garlic and thyme and cook, stirring, for 10 mins or until the vegetables are just tender. Add 12 cups (3L) homemade or bought chicken stock, then bring to the boil over high heat. Add ½ x 375g pkt dried pappardelle and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 mins. Add 3 cups shredded roast chicken and cook for a further 2 mins or until the chicken is heated through and the pasta is al dente. Discard the thyme sprigs and ladle the soup among serving bowls. Season with pepper and serve with extra thyme sprigs and chopped flat-leaf parsley.
For a change from the classic veg and pasta combo, try making this chicken soup your way by adding more veg, or swapping out protein and carbs. For the protein, try drained canned cannellini beans or chickpeas, soft-boiled eggs or crispy bacon. For the veggies, add chopped kale, tomatoes, shredded cabbage or zucchini. For the carb element, make it with vermicelli noodles, fresh tortellini, dumplings or cooked pearl barley.
It’s easy to create a warming, soothing and nourishing meal in a bowl with this chicken noodle soup recipe. For more satisfying soups made with whole chicken, try our slow cooker chicken and corn soup recipe or Hainanese chicken and rice soup. Love spicy noodle soups? Try our Thai chicken and ramen noodle soup or Sichuan-style noodle soup with chicken mince. For more chicken dinners, head to the chicken recipes collection and find healthy soup recipes in our healthy dinner recipes collection.